For each of us the path of life is not easy and for Gaelle Lebray, she went through various emotional, health and life challenges and misfortunes. Although she was broken in spirit and had passed through the dark zone in her life, Gaelle has successfully managed to triumph in relation to life, with herself and with others. She has paved her way to success in the midst of physical and spiritual pain, first for herself to become a role model as a “Life Beyond Heartbreak Coach” and for others through teaching and guiding them on how to bandage their wounds and move on. Gaelle’s message for women is: “I wish those wonderful women could really give themselves priority and invest in themselves because when they do, they shine their brightest light, and they give the best of themselves to the world and the people around them “.
Why and when did you decide to become a “Life Beyond Heartbreak Coach”? Is this profession related to your personal history?
It all started ten years ago. I was then working in an investment banking front office – an obvious choice being a people person and as you may guess, a very different environment. During that period, the coaching and mentoring I did internally was very much focused on business and career and was voluntarily. So when I decided to start my own coaching practice, it made sense to carry on doing the same and also to focus on high performance and results coaching. Being an ex-amateur Triathlon World champion made it even more compelling to clients. Not that I was overly passionate about it, but I knew my stuff and I knew the positive impact I had on the people I had coached and mentored.
Interestingly enough, each time I was taking on a new client, I had a profound and intense pull to look into the deeper private stuff, the root cause of why they were so focused on their career. And more often than not, I realised it was because they were at a deeper level, either struggling in their intimate relationship and putting their heads in the sand (especially in investment banking, you are married to the job, let’s face it) and beyond that. The deeper issues were with themselves… which is never something you want to accept, particularly as an A type personality (because you have it all mapped out). This was making me even more determined and driven to help them to achieve the balance they realised they were yearning for and craving for after.
Where did that deep pull of helping people with their relationship with others and to themselves come from?
What really brought it home for me was my second heartbreak. I became single again after ten years in a loving relationship that came to an abrupt end when my ex-fiance suffered a traumatic breakdown, fed by anxiety and depression and we parted. After this staggering, shocking, and painful break-up, I planned plenty of fun for the year ahead and the things that I had put aside for years. I really needed that after a heavy sixteen months.
I just happened to be chased by someone shortly after becoming free again. He was like Prince Charming, literally ticking every single box that I wanted in a man. I felt on cloud nine and I couldn’t overlook or disregard him. So I jumped straight back into a new relationship. Things were amazing until they started to go off a bit after a year. I started developing panic attacks and serious anxiety, because of his behaviour fed my lack of trust. I ended up having to take anti-depressants to deal with this as I was not only losing a lot of weight but also sleep. I stopped within a year (as it wasn’t for me). Another year went by and I definitely had signs of depression (I was reading a lot of self-help books and listening to YouTube motivational videos to try to find solutions to my problem). But things got worse.
I then ruptured my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while skiing and needed a knee reconstruction. It is interesting to note that from a metaphysical point of view, the knee is associated with relationships and is the only articulation in the body that bends backward to move forward. It is also fascinating to realise that by being stopped in my tracks suddenly forced me to look at my relationship and what was not working. But like a soldier, I pushed on. I would sort this out! The reality is it that it takes two to tango. Another two years down line I was crying most days and physically suffering. I felt at times that I was about to have a heart attack when I was swim training (and I am an ex competitive swimmer, so I know how to push hard when training).
One day out the blue, I got the news that no one wants to hear. The doctor at work contacted me to let me know that my mammogram had come back abnormal and I now needed to have a biopsy. This crushed me. I was the epitome of health (from the outside), eating well, sporty lifestyle, always choosing a natural treatment over allopathy when having minor illnesses. The only upside was that at that point I had taken the biggest leap of faith in my life and jumped off the cliff by finally walking away from that unhealthy relationship. It had taken me five years and it had been extremely hurtful and insidious.
It was the best decision ever! And this is the reason why I am a “Life Beyond Heartbreak Coach”. I do not want people to waste more time in choosing again the wrong partner and suffering as much as I did mentally, emotionally, physically and financially. Life is for living well and loving wholeheartedly, not for suffering.
When did you realise your ability to help others find their Life Beyond Heartbreak?
I had accumulated so much knowledge, tools, and strategies, and did so much personal development to save these relationships (seminar after seminar, book after book, psychotherapy, couple counselling and relationship coaching, you name it). I realised that I knew so much that each time I had a client and we were initially working on what they had come to see me for… we always ended up doing the work on themselves and their relationship.
That’s when I finally admitted to myself that this was really close to my heart, this was my soul purpose and mission and this is where I could make a massive difference to people’s lives. I didn’t make anything up. My client’s testimonials and feedback was black and white. For a long while, I didn’t want to admit to a part of my network that my specialty was being a relationship coach and helping people to rebuild their Life Beyond Heartbreak. I was scared of what they would think, that I was a fraud, like we often pretend to be someone we are not at the early stage of a relationship!
Initially and interestingly enough, I had a lot more male clients coming to me, who all got some fabulous results. Now my client base is more balanced. What saddens me though is that I find that often women have the habit of not asking for help. The reality is we don’t have to go through this by ourselves. I wish those wonderful women could really give themselves priority and invest in themselves because when they do, they shine out their brightest light, they give the best of themselves to the world and people around them.
What if you could accelerate the process and not remain stuck, lonely, not having this lack of direction, lack of clarity, lack of confidence and self-esteem? And what if you could move forward to the life you really deserve much faster. How would that be? How would that sound? How would that feel?
What are the most common problems that couples face today?
I think that couples get together very quickly because of physical attraction and often common and shared passions or hobbies. It’s even more flagrant with the internet age. Swipe right and boom, we are already a couple for a moment. Things are so easy. It’s on demand, like a movie on Netflix. And it doesn’t matter how old you are, it generally works. You can generally manage to get a hook up!
In the process, (because it is soooo easy), we fail to recognise sometimes the patterns that we have (we may have created them but most often they are inherited) and hence we end up always attracting the same kind of partners. More importantly, physical attraction and pheromones are a fatal combination. And more often than not, we have got on with getting to know each other intimately without even having asked the right questions, the REAL questions which two, five, or ten years down the line, will really matter and lead ultimately to a heartbreak! So it boils down to one word: COMMUNICATION. Communicating in the right way right from the start. And this needs to come from knowing ourselves first. There is no secret there.
How do you feel when you manage to help someone transform after a heartbreak?
I do feel on top of the world when I see my clients transforming as we go through the process. I intuitively understand how to guide them to be in better places within themselves but also in their environment. What is common though, and I absolutely love it, is seeing the astonishment on their face when the penny drops about something they hadn’t taken realisation of, or something they have achieved and never thought possible, not even in a million years. Particularly clients who work on “rebuilding” themselves post toxic or unhealthy type relationships – and may have had many things to tackle at once, along with them wanting a work promotion for example (to level up financially post break-up or divorce) or wanting to start a business to gain financial independence.
I am beyond ecstatic when they have a big milestone or ‘Aha’ moment while in session or off session when applying the strategies or tools I have shared with them. It is not a one session process. I tend to work over a certain period of time with them using several modalities. I will adapt depending on each client’s needs and I always make sure we have worked towards putting a strong foundation in place initially, to be able to guide them to their amazing transformation. They literally re-discover themselves, sometimes in ways they hadn’t even foreseen. They gain so much clarity about who they are, what they really want, and that nothing is stopping them anymore to achieve or get whatever they are after.
That’s what really motivates me to jump out of bed every morning. I have this fire in me on how I can inspire and impact people in meaningful ways and help them in transforming their life. What is absolutely essential to understand is that coaching is not counselling and not psychotherapy either. Coaching is about taking someone from their present situation (potentially their worst nightmare) and getting them to their dream outcome. We do not look back, we only move forward. For me, the more impact I have (known 1-2-1 or my group, or unknown), the more excited and more motivated I get to do even more.
Can you give some tips on how to overcome a failure in our sentimental life?
Firstly, and this is really important, there is not such a thing as failure. It’s called FEEDBACK. And I think this is the most important word to remember. This is a unique golden opportunity to learn about ourselves and how we interact and communicate with others, how we behave in relationships (intimate or otherwise). However, more often than not, we ignore that and wallow in our sadness, often blaming the other person for what has happened (and do not take responsibility for the part we played in that relationship. In any relationship we are 50-50, like yin and yang, push/pull, etc) and jump straight back into another relationship, hoping for the best and hoping for the next dream relationship.
How do you expect that the next dream relationship is going to turn out?
Let’s take an example here. So you want to go on holiday. However you are not too sure where to go and who with. You just want to go somewhere. So let’s say you are going alone and as you were not very precise about where you wanted to go, you just landed randomly somewhere sunny. It looks like a nice place, it has a big pool, the rooms are okay and the food is not bad either. So far, the place looks pretty attractive. Are you still following me here?
So you are now opening your luggage to unpack and ready to go out, by the pool, and get ready to dress to impress, right? However, you discover that the clothes in your suitcase are the same that you used during your last holiday and some of them you forgot to wash. Hmmm… not great, is it? Some even still have sun cream on them from last time. Ooops.
Now, I have a straight question for you. How would you feel if you were jumping in a new relationship with all your old luggage (full of ‘shit’ from the previous time) and the same for the potential partner you are starting dating? What do you think would happen after a while? So is it best to bring luggage with clean fresh clothes in it?
What are the rules or steps to follow towards finding the twin soul?
I don’t think there are rules as such. There are definitely steps to follow to give ourselves the best chance to attract the perfect partner. And the first step starts with yourself. By really knowing who you truly are and what you really want ( And you would be surprised to realise how many people are not able to answer these two questions in a clear manner. They just know what they don’t want but they are struggling to know what they really want. You are giving yourself the keys to meet the right person. They are definitely out there but how do you intend to find them if it is like your vague holiday plans?
How much has your career helped you in your personal life?
Massively. It helped me to do my own introspection on behaviour, communication and interpersonal skills and more importantly, clean up the people who were not serving me in my life. What I mean by that was getting rid of or nudging out people from my environment who were not supporting or supportive of me, and in fact hindered my personal growth and development. I am now very mindful of who I want around me and this is as much in my professional surroundings than as in my personal life, because you do become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. These people shape who you are.
If you would like to learn how you can transform your life after heartbreak, find your true power and become unstoppable in 2021, book your free discovery call with Gaelle now: https://gaellelebraycoaching.as.me/DiscoveryCall